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Old 08-21-2003, 08:29 AM   #1
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Unhappy Warped door

Three weeks ago we became the very excited owners of a 73 Sovereign. We knew there would be things to fix in a trailer that old, but we really really wanted it! We have done lots of work, and, on the whole, enjoyed it immensely. After tearing out part of the rotten floor, we looked for the source of the leaks before repairing and replacing floor covering. The major source is that the door does not meet the frame. There is about a half inch gap at the top right hand corner (toward the front) which extends along the top 3/4 of the way to the hinge side, and down the right side about 1/2 way. Adding various weather stripping did not solve the leak problem and it became obvious that the door is warped. When we tried to remove the door, the screws just turned around, but did not come out. A guy at a local RV dealer just suggested that we put a block in the hinge and "force" the door back. That doesn't sound right. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-21-2003, 01:05 PM   #2
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Re:Warped Door

Baja,
I did the same as you to try and fix the 'warped' door. As they say, you live and learn - I undid the 4 screws as well and found that they kept on turning. I then read up on the subject and found that you do not touch these screws in order to remove the door! The problem is that the nuts are 'free' on the back of the screws - if you get the crews out, then the nuts are going to fall inside and it appears that you will then have to dismantle half of the kitchen to retrieve them! When I realized this fact, I tightened them back up. In order to stop the nuts from turning, I drilled a small hole in the corner of the door frame which then allowed me to insert a thin screwdriver into the hole and wedge it against the nut, to stop it from turning. I managed to tighten the 2 top screws on each hinge and only had to drill holes to tighten the 2 bottom screws of each pair.
OK, we are now back where we started from!
Here is the method to remove the door OR to cure a warped door.
Open the door and secure it to the side of the trailer with the latch. You will see that the inside of the door consists of 2 pieces that are riveted to the door frame. Drill out all of the rivets, except for the top row and the bottom row. Now you are left with the 2 pieces that are held in place by only one row of rivets each.
Before proceeding, make sure that there are not too many door sealing pieces stuck to the door and screen as an attempt to 'fix' the warped door leak.
2 people are helpful for the next part - one inside and one outside.
Close the door ( make sure that the person inside has an appropriate size drill and rivets and a rivet tool). The person on the outside can now press the door at top and bottom so that it fits correctly to the trailer contour. The guy inside can then re-align the rivet holes (or make new ones) with the drill, and then pop a rivet in. Do this inside drilling/riveting working from the top and bottom equally and working towards the center. After the center row of rivets has been replaced and you let go of the door, it should retain its new, 'original', contoured shape!
I have attached a couple of door images:
1) Hingehole showing the drilled hole for the nut.
2+3) Showing the door with the inside pieces removed, giving you access to the nuts which hold the door on.
If none of this makes any sense, email me!
Cheers.
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Old 08-21-2003, 01:11 PM   #3
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Re: Warped Door

Here's the picture of the door with the inner skin removed, showing the location of the door attachment.
Cheers.
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Old 08-21-2003, 04:15 PM   #4
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Thanks! We have the day off from the A/S today, (its my b'day!) but will follow your suggestions tomorrow....we'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again.
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Old 08-21-2003, 05:35 PM   #5
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Just thinking....how did you work around your screen door? Is there a trick to getting it off? Tried to e-mail you, but got the following message:

Sorry! That user has specified that they do not wish to receive emails through this board. If you still wish to send an email to this user, please contact the administrator and they may be able to help.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-25-2003, 08:28 PM   #6
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Baja,
Sorry about the block on emails - I have changed it.
I have just returned from a 'mini' vacation - been wandering aimlessly around the Upper Peninsula for the past 5 days!
As for the screen door, I don't remember!
I will take a look in the morning and refresh my memory.
Cheers.
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Old 08-26-2003, 09:16 AM   #7
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Warped Door

This is the 'official' procedure from the AS Service Manual.
It doesn't say to remove the screen door - it's just a bit of
trial and error until you get the door curvature correct.
Decide if it is the bottom or the top that is out of whack and
proceed from there.
Cheers.

Main Door Adjustment

1. Recontouring door for proper mating with jamb.

a. To adjust top half of door, drill rivets from inside skin of door face. Start approximately 6 inches above center of door on lock side. Use a "No. 30 drill and remove the rivets up the side of the door, across the top of the door, and down the hinge side, to within 6 inches of center.

b. After rivets are removed, door will now be able to flex. Close door to determine how much door must be formed. With one person holding door, and the second person forming it, the adjustment can be made.

c. After adjustment is made with one person holding doorframe in correct position, the second person will drill new holes in door skin and place a rivet (AD45BS - paint match for vinyl skin) in each top corner and close door to make sure position has not changed.

d. If it is found to be correct, open door and continue to pop rivet skin in place, installing new rivets, equally spaced between original holes.

2. To adjust bottom half of door, start drilling rivets out 6 inches below center of door, down and across bottom, then up the lock side. Follow same adjustment procedure as used in top half.

Screen Door Adjustment

1. Door not square in opening.

a. Using a No. 20 drill, remove rivets attaching screen door to hinge.

b. Properly locate screen door into doorjamb.

c. Hold in this position and have second person drill two new holes from hinge through door.

d. Install 5/32 pop rivet in these holes.

e. Check if properly located and then install balance of pop rivets.

2. Recontouring door for proper mating with jamb (two people required).

a. If too much curvature is in screen door, hold center firmly against jamb from the outside and pull on top or bottom till proper contour is achieved.

b. If not enough curvature is in screen door, place a 6" 2 x 4 wood spacer at center in latch area. Close screen door and push on top or bottom until proper contour is achieved. Increase spacer if necessary.
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Old 08-26-2003, 06:38 PM   #8
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Thank you! It worked really well! The door now fits against the frame. It still leaks though, but I'm sure it will stop when we get the proper weather stripping. Nothing is available here (Vancouver Island) that works, so we will have to hope for no rain until we get to the States at the end of September! Goes against Murphy's law! Thanks again for your help.
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Old 08-28-2003, 08:21 AM   #9
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help with door repair

Gvanman, thanks for the door advice. I have the same problem with a door that blew open, straightened out and now does not seal on top and bottom ('76 Tradewind). It appears to have small cracks in the door frame and have been told to take the skin off, spot weld the cracked frame to the trailer, then weld/repair the cracks & reattach the skin. Any comments on this technique? Also, how do you drill out the rivets without causing damage to skin? Lastly, how do you get the door off? I'm gun shy about tackling the problem and trying to locate an aluminum welder but I need to get it fixed. Any further pics or advice you can email me would sure be appreciated. Thanks, Jim jfsjr@charter.net
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Old 08-28-2003, 08:42 AM   #10
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Help with door repair

Open the door and secure it to the side of the trailer with the latch. You will see that the inside of the door consists of 2 pieces that are riveted to the door frame. Drill out all of the rivets and remove the door handle and the screws that hold the door lock. (I would completely remove the lock at this point for inspection and lubrication - comes out via the outside of the door).
These 2 'inner' skins can now be removed - you will find insulation behind these skins and this will need removing carefully and putting in a safe place. Check the insulation for wet spots which will indicate that water is getting in somewhere!
When the skins and the insulation are removed, you will be able to see the nuts which hold the door to the top and bottom hinges.
Have someone support the door (it's very light weight) and remove the 4 nuts and star washers. You can now safely remove the door and check out what needs to be repaired.
**To drill out the rivets, I used a drill bit that was the same size as the rivet head and just lightly drilled until the head of the pop rivet was removed. Once you have the inner skins removed and the door off, you can remove the remaining bits of the rivets with pliers.
For re-fitting the door, reverse the procedure (don't forget the insulation!) and follow the steps in the previous posts.
Good Luck.
Cheers.
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